From the gospel of John, chapter 20, we have the story of the grieving Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Christ in the garden. Supposing Jesus to be the gardener, she recognises him only when he calls her by her name. “Mary”, he says. At this point, Mary reaches out for him. “Master”, she cries. But Jesus doesn’t put his arm round her and give her a comforting hug. “Don’t cling to me”, he says instead, “for I have not yet ascended to my Father”….

What or who do you cling to? Your faith? Your family? Your friends? Your job? Your health? Any or all of these may let you down. But God’s promise is this: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. (Isaiah 43: 1-2)

Contributed by Rosamond McDowell, St Mary with St Alban